An Emergence of Hope

Addiction. A virulent disease that permeates borders, cultures, and classes. It doesn't differentiate between the rich and the poor, the young and the old, the leader and the apprentice. To some degree, most people are familiar with it or can relate to its effects even though they aren't necessarily using. This is because addiction can take on many shapes and roles. You see, addiction is a disease of the family. The user's perpetual struggle with a certain substance, be it opioids or anti depressants, directly correlates with that of his parents, loved ones, and support group. For a while, we as a society have identified the core problem of addiction as being exclusive to the user. It was viewed as a personal/moral dilemma that only alienated and ostracized rather than mended. And rather than connecting with an addict through an empathetic and understanding lens, society kept them in the dark, unaware, alone.

So what has changed? Well a lot to say the least. We are now in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Over 60,000 deaths have been reported in the last decade due to opioid overdoses. 2 million Americans are becoming addicted to these substances every year, which has called on both the private and public sector to intervene. Now that it is labeled as a public safety issue, the concept of addiction as a disease is becoming more prevalent and widely accepted among the healthcare sector. Rather than focusing only on the addict, we are now addressing the institution as a whole in hopes of reassessing the foundation on which it has been built upon.

With this new wave of awareness comes an opportunity for start ups like ourselves to become part of the solution to this epidemic. Not just any start up, but ones that strive for social impact and not just financial gains. Ones that are motivated by their mission and not just market scope. Ones that empathize with addiction and substance abuse rather than exploit it as an opportunity to grow and expand their bottom line. This is not to say, that start ups in this sector need not focus on profits and scalability to continue their impact, two important criterions for success in the start up world. What I am hoping to shed light on is that start ups who are addressing this epidemic must not forget their mission through it all because once that mission begins to fade, their identity will follow suit, leading to a spiral and lost productivity.

This is why we at pilleve want to continually strive towards achieving and expanding our mission and not just our product's reach. We want to give patients the right to live a healthy addiction free life by connecting them to an array of support at all times. We want to limit the effects of prescription abuse and addiction on the family institution as a whole through intervention and education. We want to prevent the long term costs of addiction on health care institutions and the private sector through monitoring programs. In staying true to our mission and vision, we hope to expand our impact from our humble roots in Winston Salem, North Carolina, to any state that requires our intervention and support.

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